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  • Alexander Inglis

Book Cover

Over the last week I have spent quite a considerable amount of the time I allocated for the Eaglerune launch plan to producing a book cover. Nothing has been finalised yet but here are three copies of what I’ve been working on. Still very much works in progress.

In comparison, I took screen shots of today’s top four books from the Amazon best sellers list.

Each one of them is very striking in its own way and, there is no way of telling how the cover was produced. A lot of websites dedicated to self publishing say to steer clear of producing your book cover but, getting things right as far as self publishing is concerned can be expensive (although it doesn’t have to be). If you get a professional book cover designer to produce a cover it will cost you money, money for something you could quite easily manage yourself. Having said that, cover design is not for everyone and there is a lot to be said for professional help.

So, spend your money wisely and don’t be tempted to rush into getting someone else to do the dirty work for you. If you are self publishing on a shoestring, or are naturally frugal, why not try producing your own book cover? If you have half an idea about how to use image manipulation software then give it a go. There are some excellent free/inexpensive packages available, especially if you have time to familiarise yourself with them.

If you do decide to give it a try do not fall in love with your creations. Get honest criticism from others before deciding which to use (if at all). Just the fact that I have put a couple of thumbnails on this blog has given me ideas for changes I want to try, just to see if I can get a more striking image. Don’t rush. I have given myself a minimum of three months to get Book 1 licked into shape (there’s a lot to this book launch thing). So, create the cover, put it away for a week or two then have another look, perhaps something might strike you.

I used Canva to create all three of the examples above. Canva is free software with which you can create your own designs. There is a Pro version for which they charge a monthly fee but try it for free to start with, there’s a lot in it

Another piece of free software I use is GIMP, (Gnu Image Manipulation Package) a free Open Source Image Editor which, in my opinion, is up there with PhotoShop, at no cost. Although GIMP is excellent there is a lot in it and it does require a degree of dedication to become proficient, although there are many YouTube videos that will walk you through the process.

Things to consider if you do decide to create your own cover:

Font colours: Dark colours on a thumbnail image are hard to read. Keep them light.

Fonts styles: Does the font you choose match the genre of your book, the style of the cover? Does it stand out against the image? Does it enhance or detract from the overall look of the cover? In other words is it easy to read, especially when the design is reduced to an Amazon sized thumbnail image. Try it, copy your cover image into Word, click on it and use the ‘handles’ in each corner to reduce the image size until it is no longer readable. This should give you a good idea if the thumbnail will be eye catching enough to hook potential buyers. Some self publishing web sites advocate only white for the cover font colour. Remember you only get one chance at a potential reader and your cover is the first hook.

If the book cover does it’s job by getting the potential buyer to pick it up, then the next thing that will push them along the way to a purchase is the Book Description, I have been working on mine and will write about it next.

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